|Vince Capano is a two time winner of the prestigious Quill and Tankard
writing award for humor from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.
Vince's column is now a regular feature of beernexus.com
Check back often for the next installment of
Vince's Adventures in Beerland
The Beer Cure by Vince Capano
Beer clearly does cure all. Hardly a day goes by without a report of a new
scientific finding about the healthy benefits of drinking beer. From the pages
of austere medical journals down to columns in modest weekly newspapers
the medicinal power of beer is being revealed to a joyous public.
While some may be surprised at these findings the fact is that beer has long
been promoted for its healthy properties. A 1910 beer advertisement in
Austria shows a happy invalid tucked up in a keg designed as a wheel chair,
scarf around his neck, drinking a fresh beer with scores of empty steins
around him. An Irish beer ad from 1895 used the slogan “Beer Brings
Health”. For years Guinness proclaimed in countless ads that “beer is good
for you.” But perhaps an old German saying from the 18th century said it
most succinctly: “The brewery is the best drug store.” Indeed, that lesson
was taken to heart in 2004 by German Economic Minister Wolfgan Clement
who proclaimed that, “people should be able to get a prescription for beer
through the National Health System.”
It was a long held belief that beer taken every day enriched the blood and
ensured eternal youth. North Germans called Bavarian beer “Ammenbier", or
“nursing beers” because it was thought to be as good as milk for both babies
and adults. In France, Levure de Biere, the yeast of beer, was prescribed to
be taken by a patient mixed in a large glass of ale. This was the standard
remedy for skin, stomach, and intestinal problems. Even in East India, castor
oil users were told to mix it with beer to improve potency and of course, to
provide flavor. Up until a hundred years ago, hop-filled cushions were
recommended for sleeping disorders throughout Europe.
Long before modern scientific doctors wrote books about beer as a cure it
was also thought that beer would help with anemia, indigestion, nervous
diseases and, of course, any and all imaginary illness where the happiness of
the patient is important to the cure.
Medical fads come and go. In the past people have tried the Grape Cure, the
Rest Cure, and the Organic Cure, all with little success. They have tried
psychoanalysis, grape nuts, spinach, bran, and mineral water without getting
better. Today the siren call of the Atkins Diet, The Subway sandwich
regimen, and exercise lure many to even more ill health. Simply put, it’s now
time for everyone to take the Beer Cure.
Good health may only be as far away as some serious beer drinking.
Even if you haven’t a thing in the world wrong with you, take the Beer Cure
anyway. It’s a fine preventative for all the little ills of life. Indeed, just
drinking a glass of beer is a good health test to take at any time. If you can’t
drink it, you’re sick and need the Beer Cure. If you can drink it, you’ll enjoy
the Beer Cure all the more.
For the statistically minded the facts are simple: beer is liquid food. A pint of
beer is about equal in caloric food value as a half a pound of potatoes, a
glass of milk, 3 pats of butter, a quarter loaf of bread, three eggs, four
apples, three trout, or four ounces of hearty beef soup. To top it off, beer is
the only alcoholic beverage that contains vitamins.
And let’s dispel one ugly rumor right now. Beer itself is not responsible for
putting on weight. Drinking beer will make you as fat as drinking a cola.
Beer is only responsible for heightening your appetite for food. Knowing
that, the lesson is clear. If drinking makes you fat, eat less.
The Beer Cure does not demand you move from pub to pub. If you have
found a good seat and an efficient bartender, just stay right there, relax, sit
still, and go on with the Cure. Consume just the amount of beer that nature
tells you to. Each patient must study his own condition, temperament,
capacity and thirst. In case of doubt, step unobtrusively up to the bartender
and ask what quantity he recommends. That usually will at least keep you
from getting thrown out.
After a few pints you will note a surprising improvement in the state of your
well being. You will be able to laugh easier, louder, and longer. And in
many cases you will certainly believe you have become smarter, wittier, and
much better looking.
Some might say if you drink you’ll die. Beer people say don’t drink and you’ll
die too, so why not lift a few pints?
|The Beer Cure